A good understanding of the French language is more than an asset: it’s a requirement for successfully integrating and finding fulfilling work in Greater Montréal.
To become a permanent resident of Québec through the Programme de l’expérience québécoise (PEQ – Québec Experience Program) offered by the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (MIDI) of Québec, you must demonstrate an advanced intermediate level knowledge of spoken French.
Proof of this ability will allow you to obtain a Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ – Québec Selection Certificate), a prerequisite for permanent residency in Canada. It is also possible to obtain a CSQ through the Skilled temporary foreign worker program (PRTQ) offered by the MIDI, for which French is an important factor in the selection process. However, the timeframe to obtain a CSQ is longer through the PRTQ than through the PEQ.
To become a member of a professional order, you must demonstrate your command of Québec’s official language. The Service de l’évaluation du français des ordres professionnels from the Office québécois de la langue française is mandated to evaluate the French knowledge of candidates for professional orders that do not meet the requirements of Article 35 of the Charter of the French Language.
The sooner you start to learn or improve your knowledge of French, the better your chances of success are! Here are some resources to help you.
The MIDI offers an online francization service (FEL) that is free for international students. This service allows you to learn French at your own pace through different learning formats. This service offers an intermediate level French self-training course for all international students and an intermediate/advanced level course with a tutor for holders of Québec selection certificates.
The MIDI also offers an on-line exercises database for French as a second language for students at the beginner, intermediate and advanced levels.
Beginner level students can turn to other relevant resources: educational institutions, private schools, the many online resources, etc.
Public education institutions (school boards, CEGEPs and universities) and community organizations offer a wide variety of course options for learning and improving your French.
School boards offer several French language and literacy programs for adults.
CEGEPs have developed courses, some of which combine French and employment skills, as well as intensive French language courses.
Montréal universities also make it possible for international students to improve their knowledge of French by offering a variety of courses and programs. The Université du Québec à Montréal, Université de Montréal and McGill University all offer French as a second language courses. Concordia University offers the Oui Can Help! program.
Summer: Intensive Courses and Immersion Programs
You can improve your French more quickly by taking intensive courses or registering for summer immersion programs. Several language schools offer summer programs, a few of which are outside of Greater Montréal. Leaving the metropolitan area allows you to have a complete French immersion experience and discover what Québec has to offer. You can even combine an internship with a language study trip!
There are many free or paid online resources for learning or improving your French, complementary to those offered by educational institutions, including: self-directed learning, downloadable guides and reference materials, and video tutorials, as well as personalized conversations, podcasts and mobile apps.
For example, the MIDI offers an on-line exercises database for French as a second language for students at the beginner, intermediate and advanced levels.
Thanks to this abundance of resources, you have everything you need to start practicing French right away!
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